Monograms are popular from shirt cuffs to tote bags to baby blankets. They are everywhere and popular in wedding invitations, cakes, etc. In a recent order for a bridal shower the requested design was to include a monogram of the bride and groom's initials. Of course not wanting to disappoint, I replied ‘I can do that.’ I admit I stressed a bit as writing on cookies is one of my weaknesses in cookie decorating. The finished cookies were nice but the monogram lacked the clean, professional look I imagined.
After hundreds of hours of practice with ink and paper I can create pretty calligraphy letters but with a piping bag, well that’s another ball of wax. I finally discovered the tool used by many cookie artists … Stencils. There are stencils for all kinds of designs and lettering stencils were the perfect solution. A professional calligrapher penned the script letters and a machine perfectly embosses the letters to create the stencil.
I practiced on some iced cookies. The stenciled initials are of family members. You know who you are …. find your cookie and see how pretty it looks!
Every new decorating technique is a learning experience to figure out what works and what does not. The single monograms were easy but the double monograms were a bit more challenging. I like the flourishes of the interlocking monograms, although in applying the second letter it was a challenge to hold the stencil firmly without compromising the icing on the first letter. Sometimes the stencil slipped and the icing smudged or was too thick which is visible in the photos. I waited 20 minutes before applying the second monogram which was not enough time for the icing to dry on the first letter.
My first tip about using stencils would be to apply just a small amount of icing onto the spatula to cover the design. Second, for double letters wait at least one hour before applying the second letter to allow the first letter to harden. These monogram cookies were done with a three-inch heart cookie cutter and it was a bit of a squeeze to fit two letters onto one cookie. Others were done with a four-inch round cutter with ample space. Just last week I spotted a larger, four-inch heart cookie cutter which will be perfect for double monograms.
Come see my practice sessions below.
Heart and Round Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for flooding and detail tinted Light Green with AmeriColor Avocado
Royal Icing for flooding and detail tinted Peach with AmeriColor Peach and AmeriColor Brown
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Outline and flood cookie with #2 tip in ivory icing. (View video tutorial)
Pipe lines with #2 tip in green and peach flood icing.
Using a toothpick, swirl the icing to create design. (View video tutorial)
Let dry overnight.
Place the stencil on cookie. Apply light pressure so the stencil stays in place.
Spread detail icing with spatula removing excess.
Gently lift stencil. Let dry overnight.
(View video tutorial by Mary of Emma's Sweets)